The procurement process has been launched today (14 December) for a new Mersey Ferry.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced the project will now be out to tender, as progress is made to safeguard the transport service.
A supplier engagement day and a consultation with the public and stakeholders were held earlier this year for the proposed new vessel, which will also be used for events and river cruises.
The existing two Mersey Ferries are due to turn 60 in 2019, and have high maintenance and running costs.
A preferred supplier to build the vessel will be selected as soon as the process allows, and then city region leaders, through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, will be asked to commit to the project going ahead.
Metro Mayor Rotheram says: “Pressing the button on the procurement process marks the start of the next chapter in the Mersey Ferries’ long and rich history.
“The current fleet is sorely in need of an upgrade and this is as much about safeguarding our beloved ferries for future generations as it is improving and enhancing the customer experience.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, transport portfolio holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, adds: “Our existing ferries have given outstanding service to generations of commuters and visitors. We are committed to investing in their future so they remain part of the iconic scenery on the river and our culture and heritage.”